Decoding SDS Series Section 11: Toxicological Information

The later sections of the SDS aim to provide information regarding a variety of properties of the chemical. Section 9 addresses all physical and chemical properties, while Section 10 covers how stable the chemical is and if there are any reactivity concerns. Section 11 rounds out this category of the SDS, which looks at all toxicological information of the chemical.

Likely routes of exposure that the chemical can travel through are included in this section. Inhalation, ingestion, and skin and eye contact are all possible routes that could be listed. If this information is unknown this should be acknowledged in the SDS. Another term for routes of exposure is “irritation/corrosion.”

If the chemical causes any delayed, immediate, or chronic effects from short or long-term exposure, these must be listed with sufficient description. These symptoms are listed from the lowest to the most severe exposure level. Examples of these include skin sensitizer, mutagenicity, carcinogenicity, reproductive toxicity, and respiratory sensitizer.

The measures of toxicity of the chemical is also in Section 11. The most common measure of toxicity used is LD50, or the median lethal dose. This is defined as the estimated amount of substance expected to kill 50% of test animals in a single dose. The test animal is also included in this information.

If the chemical is listed in the National Toxicology Program (NTP) Report on Carcinogens this must be explicitly stated. It must also be noted if it is found to be a potential carcinogen by OSHA or the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) Monographs. If it is not a carcinogen or potential carcinogen, it does not need to be listed as such.

While Section 11 of the SDS can be dense, it provides essential information in understanding the toxicology of the chemical at hand. This information is vital to worker safety.

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